) has reportedly sued several unnamed individuals for data
'scraping,' a technique of extracting readable data from
different sources through a computer program. The company has
alleged that offenders are importing data from profiles of
original users through fake profiles. These not only violate
LinkedIn's user agreement, but also federal and state computer
fraud rules and regulations.
As a preemptive measure, LinkedIn has disabled the fake
accounts. Further investigation into the matter has revealed that
the accounts were accessed through
) Web Services cloud platform. Moreover, LinkedIn has reportedly
asked Amazon to disclose the names of the alleged hackers.
LinkedIn stores a host of personal data on its servers and
therefore, data security is a primary concern. These incidents of
data hacking undermine the company's creditability in protecting
sensitive user data. LinkedIn's services are being used by
recruiters and job seekers alike and incidents like these smudge
the company's reputation.
Despite the best efforts by social and networking companies to
incorporate strict user policies and security measures against
external threats, hacking incidents like the current one occur
now and then.
Nonetheless, LinkedIn remains a force in the professional
networking space and has good growth potential going by the
positive outlook provided by management. Additionally, the
company's expansion in the mobile arena by launching apps for
) iOS and Android operating systems is a positive.
However, competition from
), which is also prepping its services to cater to business
customers and professionals, and a volatile macroeconomic
environment could pose challenges for the company. The emergence
of companies like ValueClick, which has been introducing new
services at regular intervals, could also bring about a rapid
change in the scenario.
Currently, LinkedIn has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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